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State approves new employee pay plan

December 5, 2007 By Dennis Chaptman

A boost in pay for UW System faculty and academic staff was given the go-ahead by state lawmakers last week.

A legislative panel cleared the way for a package that increases the system pay plan for faculty and academic staff by 2 percent retroactive to July 1, 2007, with future increases of 2 percent next July and 1 percent in April 2009.

System President Kevin Reilly noted that faculty salaries systemwide already lag 8.5 percent behind peer colleges and universities, and academic staff salaries are 20 percent behind.

The Board of Regents had called for pay plan increases of 5.23 percent in each of the next four years to make system salaries more competitive. Recognizing the state’s tight fiscal situation, regents urged a more modest 4 percent annual increase in the system’s 2007–09 budget.

But Reilly noted that Jennifer Donnelly, director of the state Office of State Employment Relations, testified that she would return to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations next month with plans to give UW faculty and academic staff more competitive compensation during the next two years.

“It’s encouraging to hear this commitment from Gov. Doyle’s administration,” Reilly says. “In the face of intensified competition across the nation and right here in Wisconsin, we risk losing valuable talent to other institutions of higher education that have the flexibility to offer significantly higher compensation.”